Further evidence of the growing storage boom in Africa this week with the announcement in Zambia that construction work on a 15 million litre bulk fuel storage depot in the city of Solwezi will be completed in 2014. This is the latest development in a government led drive to construct oil storage facilities in all provincial centres including Lusaka and Mongu with a reported K200 million (€21.79 million) given for this development. Once these sites are completed further oil storage at Kasama and Chipata will be constructed. The construction of these facilities is being carried out by East African firm Dalbit International Limited. With these developments, Zambia’s bulk petroleum storage capacity has increased to 100 million litres.
The cost of fuel in Zambia is a political issue. Speaking to local press, energy Minister Christopher Yaluma stated that; “The strategic intention for constructing the storage facilities in provincial centres is to help reduce transportation costs and ultimately reduce pump prices as retailers will be buying fuel from provincial centres.”
Although tank storage has existed in Africa for decades, increased stability, a growing demand, booming populations and size-able discoveries of hydrocarbons have fuelled its extensive recent growth. In fact a recent report from Deloitte (The Deloitte Guide to oil and gas in East Africa, 2013) stated that “more hydrocarbons have been discovered in East Africa in the last 2 years than anywhere else in the world.”